Superintendent's Letter

Due to the recent events that have unfolded and made headlines concerning the Putnam County School District, I wanted to take a moment and address the Community at large.

I want to reassure you all that the District's top priority is the safety, security and well-being of all students and staff. Threats of violence, bullying, and weapons possession will not be tolerated in our District. As a father with children working in the school system and as a grandfather with grandchildren attending various schools, I can assure you I want our campuses to be as safe as possible.

I want to emphasize the importance of a “see something, say something” culture in the district.

The strong relationships formed in our District along with anonymous reporting programs like Fortify FL help to ensure students, staff and community members feel safe and empowered to come forward when they see or hear something concerning school safety.

It is important for students to speak up and say something to a trusted adult if they are ever aware of information that concerns them.

Your child’s school staff is always available to talk if you or your children have concerns about anything happening at school or on social media.

Putnam County administrators have been working with county authorities on emergency safety simulations and reinforcing our preparations in recent years. The District and local law enforcement have a very strong partnership.

Law enforcement personnel regularly participate in the review of our security and emergency procedures. The youth deputies in our schools make it a point to form positive relationships with students on our campuses so that they feel safe and see these individuals as trusted adults.

The District maintains a variety of active security measures at all times, including locked exterior doors, mandatory check-in procedures at school entrances, video surveillance, alarms and campus security personnel. In recent years, the District has invested in enhancing security at school building entrances, adding fencing and gates, and ensuring cameras are operational and monitored.

There has been an increase in the importance and availability of Mental Health Counseling in all schools. The District is available to support families that may have been impacted emotionally through our school counselors, psychologists, and other professional staff.

I realize that despite all of the steps taken, we are not immune and must all remain vigilant.

We are cognizant of your concerns and continue to take steps to ensure the safety of students and staff. Our school system can’t solve these issues alone. We need parental and community support. Please feel free to reach out to me personally by phone at (386) 329-0538 or by email to [email protected] if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Sincerely,

Rick Surrency

Superintendent